International financial institution, World Bank has put Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of 2020 at 33.3%, five times as much as the 6.4% it was in 2010.
The Bank which specialises in financing low income countries with loans and grants in order to stir economic development, said the economic depression of 2016 and last year’s COVID pandemic contributed.
Nigeria tops the unemployment charts in Africa.
In the Bank’s recent report titled, ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth,’ joblessness was cited as the major cause of emigration to other countries by many Nigerians.
Part of the report read, “A combination of rising unemployment, booming demographics, and unfulfilled aspirations is increasing the pressure on young Nigerians to migrate internationally in search for gainful employment,” the report said.
“With limited legal migration options, young Nigerians are increasingly choosing irregular alternatives to find better work opportunities overseas.
“The Government of Nigeria (GoN) has developed institutional and policy frameworks that recognise international labour mobility as a tool to address unemployment, increase remittances, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and investments from its diaspora, and has simultaneously worked on initiatives that curtail irregular migration.”
The Bank also said Nigeria’s working age population grew from 102 million to 122 million, growing at an average rate of approximately 3 percent per year.
“The expanding working-age population combined with scarce domestic employment opportunities is creating high rates of unemployment, particularly for Nigeria’s youth,” the report added.
“Since 2018, the active labour force population has dramatically decreased to around 70 million—lower than the level in 2014— while the number of Nigerians in the working-age population but not active in the labour force has increased from 29 million to 52 million between 2014 and 2020.”
“Similarly, Nigeria’s active labour force population, that is, those willing and able to work among the working-age population, grew from 73 million in 2014 to 90 million in 2018, adding 17.5 million new entrants to Nigeria’s active labour force.”